\\ Leila & the Eclectic Pursuit //

On February 18, 2019 by creativewavemovement

Where fine art meets street. (PHOTO: L. NAZARIAN)

It wasn’t until I stepped inside the tearful lessons that the passing of her father taught her – lessons that propelled this artist into a creative destiny she now walks in – that I relinquished all fear in delivering - uncovering, really - the indelible pursuit of a said Leila Nazarian: an unrelenting passion, nurtured by her late doctor of a father, earlier last year.


“My father inspired me more through his actions rather than words,” remembers Nazarian, the Santa Monica, CA native. “He taught me to always display kindness and concern for others: [it's] something I highly take into consideration with Eclectic Decks.”


The calming resolve in her tone, as she recalls the man that her father was – the life that he gave her family and others- deepens her reason to stick with her pursuit. Out of this tender moment of reflection, exists a living legacy, passed from one generation and soul to the next. Leila is reminded of the very reason her dreams for Eclectic Decks emerged 3 years ago. We took a moment to talk, share and understand the pursuit that won’t let go of her, and the femme that won’t let go of it. Here is our eclectic dialogue:


CreativeWave Movement: Understanding what lessons your father has taught you – in his absence and in his presence – what moves you to create even more, continuing to pursue your passion, even when the odds seem to be stacked against you?



The creative collision of cultures. (PHOTO: L. NAZARIAN)


Leila Nazarian + Eclectic Decks: Seeing how my father would go to work every morning with a smile on his face, motivated me to really pursue a career I enjoy doing and feel passionate about. He wouldn’t let any setbacks deter him from achieving his goals and never wasted time in the process. I remember when I first told him about my idea for Eclectic Decks: he encouraged me to not waste any time and start working on it.


CWM: Very good…. the name you’ve given this passion that your father encouraged you in - Eclectic Decks – is superb, and most certainly speaks to the array of product you bring to the table. How does the name so perfectly fit for you and your business?


LN + ED: ’Eclectic’ is a word I tend to use frequently to describe my personal aesthetic and taste. I am very much influenced by my Iranian roots and culture, as evidenced in my first product-line. In the future, I hope to develop lines, inspired by other countries’ arts and culture. Given the eclectic mix of art and different cultures that I focus on, I think the name suits my brand perfectly.


Image courtesy of Eclectic Decks

Beatifully created, Eclectic Decks blends traditional Persian art, with that of the Western iconic element: skateboarding.  (PHOTO: L. NAZARIAN)


CWM: I think so, as well. It is, without a doubt, a perfect reflection of who you are, and what you are passionate about. This clearly wasn’t and still isn’t a hobby; rather, a passion for you. Talk to us about when this passion for skateboarding began, and how you decided to combine it with art and design.


LN + ED: A few years ago, I was working on re-decorating my apartment. Having been born in Los Angeles and raised in Iran and France, I was looking for home décor that would capture the different cultures I was exposed to growing up. I struggled to find a graphic that would suit my apartment, so I set out to create something. Skateboards and skate culture are something that most people always affiliate Southern California lifestyle with, so I began to explore the possibility of creating a customized art skateboard that could artistically merge elements of the varying cultures I grew up with.


CWM: I love it. When did the dream of creating and pursuing your love of art begin?


LN + ED: Ever since I was little, I always enjoyed observing and creating art. While studying at the American University of Paris, I took a variety of classes – from painting and drawing, to art history – which fueled my passion for art. Moving to L.A. and taking courses such as cultural diplomacy at the University of Southern California, motivated me to start my own art project. There is a strong entrepreneurial spirit in L.A. which is where I am currently based. I began to work towards combining my passion for art and art diplomacy, with my entrepreneurial interests. Eclectic Decks has made this possible.


Image courtesy of Eclectic Decks

(PHOTO: L. NAZARIAN for Eclectic Decks)


CWM: Yes, indeed. In the spirit of serving our dreams, your father’s authentic approach to serving others with his medical practice, was a pivotal part of your upbringing. How has that helped shape your approach to your artwork: serving others, as well?


LN + ED: My father was an extremely caring and gifted surgeon. He was always there for his patients and would never turn someone away because they couldn’t afford his medical care. He also encouraged me to have a sincere approach and good intentions when engaging with others.


CWM: An unmistakably important piece to any artist, for sure. Your designs are sophisticated, authentic and speak to rich history of culture. For those that do not know, what is the inspiration behind your designs?


LN + ED: I am mostly influenced by the art and culture of my roots in Iran. I think Persian art is so ornate in a fascinating way, and part of my goal is introduce it to non-Iranians. My latest khatam series, is influenced by Persian marquetry. A year ago I was in Esfahan - a place where this type of art is frequently created – and got the chance to see how they make it, which was an amazing and informative experience.



Image courtesy of Eclectic Decks


CWM: I can only imagine, as understanding our roots plays such a huge role into self-expression. And… speaking of roots, do you recall any ‘pearls of wisdom’ that your father shared with you as it pertains to Eclectic Decks, that you continue to keep close? If so, what were they?


LN + ED: He took many risks, himself, and encouraged me to do the same: whether it was taking a spontaneous trip, or exploring new creative artistic endeavors. For a while, I had this idea of making a few skateboards with traditional Persian marquetry on them known as ‘khatamkari’.During my last trip to Iran, I [had] decided, ‘Enough thinking about it … time to turn my vision into reality,’ so I took a bunch of skateboards, drove 7 hours to Esfahan from my hometown of Kerman, met with local artisans in the bazaar and had them finally made. The end results were exquisite pieces of art that merged traditional Persian art and culture, with that of the West. I know I made my father proud.


CWM: Wow, I’m certain you did, as that is the power of action: moving your dreams from conception into reality. The art of idea to creation… in terms of design, do you have a favorite board aesthetic? (As hard as that is as the artist!)


LN + ED: I honestly can’t say I have a favorite. I love all the boards: from the floral series, to the Persian dagger and the khatam ones.


Image Courtesy of Eclectic Decks



CWM: Your approach to design and the sport of skateboarding is uniquely your own. What has the response to your work been: have you been pleased with the response?


LN + ED: I have been very pleased with the response to Eclectic Decks, which has been quite positive and motivating. Every time I carry a deck, I am always stopped by someone who wants to take a closer look because they have never seen a skateboard deck which such a graphic. The decks have managed to create a sense of shock, awe and wonder at the same time. Most people who have purchased them use them as décor pieces, but there are a few clients who ride on them.


CWM: All of the many ways to engage with your artwork – fantastic. What specific dreams- near and far- do you have for Eclectic Decks?


LN + ED: Given the amount of interest I have received from outside the United States, especially from Europe, I would like to globally expand and hopefully begin new collaborations.


CWM: Indeed.


She is, without saying much of a word, the embodiment of her father’s dream come to fruition: strong-willed, quietly determined, resolute in her focus to find a way her dreams manifest. She is, the woman behind Eclectic Decks.

For more on Leila Nazarin + Eclectic Decks, visit her website, www.eclecticdecks.com



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